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Sept. 20, 2020

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Woman dies in crash on Interstate 5

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A fatal crash backed up traffic on Interstate 5 southbound on Wednesday morning.
A fatal crash backed up traffic on Interstate 5 southbound on Wednesday morning. (Jessica Prokop/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

A woman was killed Wednesday morning on southbound Interstate 5 in Vancouver when her Jeep was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer and pushed into the back of a box truck.

The fatal crash occurred shortly before 7 a.m. just south of state Highway 500. It blocked lanes on the freeway, backing traffic up to Hazel Dell and onto Highway 500.

Washington State Patrol troopers identified the victim in a crash memo as Rachel M. Gorman, 44, of Vancouver. Her family was notified of her death.

The crash memo says that the three vehicles were traveling south in the same lane. Rodney D. Pryce of Strathmore, Alberta, Canada, was driving the tractor-trailer when he tried to make a lane change to take the Mill Plain Boulevard offramp, troopers said.

Troopers said Pryce was distracted by a passing vehicle and did not notice that traffic in front of him was slowing. He slammed into the back of Gorman’s silver Jeep Cherokee. Her vehicle was pushed under the trailer bed of the truck in front of her.

Neither Pryce nor the driver of the other truck, identified as Zechariah Baxter, 25, of Vancouver, were injured, according to the crash memo.

Pryce was cited for following too close and distracted driving.

The crash and subsequent investigation blocked the exit lanes to Fourth Plain Boulevard, as well as the left lane of the freeway.

I-5 was backed up to Hazel Dell, and Highway 500 was backed up to St. Johns Boulevard.

Two hours after the crash, emergency responders were still working to separate the vehicles.

The crash scene was cleared about 10:10 a.m., but traffic remained slow for some time.

A GoFundMe has been established to benefit the family.

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